Ontario Canada

Hammer Bent Red

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Hammer Bent Red

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Hammer Bent Red is a blend of Red Court Cortland, Northern Spy, Ida Red and Golden Russetts. It has a rich golden colour with aromas of apple and honey.

There is very light to no carbonation. After leaving it in the glass for few minutes it went completely flat. I suspect that this is a bottle issue (see notes).

You will find a full apple pie flavour, round mouth feel and a long and satisfying finish. This off-dry cider has great acid balance. It is packaged in a 1 litre resealable bottle and has 6.8 % alcohol.

There is the makings of a great cider here. I believe it was just tripped up by the packaging.

Spirit Tree Original Ice Cider

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Spirit Tree Original Ice Cider

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This cider is made from Spirit Tree apple juice that has been cryo-concentrated naturally during the winter months. I have seen the process and it is amazingly well done. The end result is a super-sweet, intense apple nectar.

Natural ice cider yields lower alcohol content then you might expect from an ice wine, in this case 12.5%. You will find dried apple, peach and apricot aromas, a lush golden colour, great viscosity and rich dried apple and spice flavours. It has a long elegant finish that is very satisfying.

This cider is best consumed at room temperature, although you should store it in a cool dark place. It is packaged in both 100 ml and 375 ml bottles.

Spirit Tree Estate Reserve Cider

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Spirit Tree Estate Reserve Cider

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Spirit Tree Estate Reserve Cider is truly an estate produced cider containing a blend of Spirit Tree grown Spy, Russet, Yarlington Mills, Chisel Jersey and other cider varietals. It is a still cider that is fermented dry and aged in toasted oak casks, then bottled in a Bordeaux style 750 ml bottle with an alcohol content of 8%.

You will see a golden straw colour and enjoy aromas of apple, vanilla and apricot to tease your senses. This cider has a great apple flavour, long finish and in-fact might fool you into thinking it is a soft Chardonnay.

Although the acidity is good, I would love to see this style produced with new French oak to give it even more structure.

Spirit Tree Draught Cider

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Spirit Tree Draught Cider

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Spirit Tree Draught Cider is available in clear 341 ml beer bottles and in kegs. This offering from Spirit Tree was designed to be an attractive gluten free alternative to beer and as such is sold to bars and restaurants by the keg as well as in bottles.

It has a light straw colour, looks clean, clear and inviting. There is a generous, but subtle apple aroma, not complex, but satisfying. This is also true with the simple, but clean flavour of slightly more than off-dry apples. It is modestly sparkling, which adds a bit of fineness.

The label is classic and something that would stand out to most potential buyers.

Don't expect more from this 6% alcohol content cider. What you see is what you get. It is a well made entry level cider, that should spark a deeper interest in the category of Craft Cider in those who taste it.

Ironwood Cider

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Ironwood Cider

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Ironwood Cider is a simple, country style cider. There is not a lot of aroma when you open this, with the exception of a hint if sulphur, which dissipates very quickly. This is not unusual for a simple cider and is not considered a flaw. It is just good to know, in case you notice this when opening the bottle.

When you first open this cider you might think it is a bottle of pop as it is highly carbonated. Served chilled on a summer day, you will not notice this as much, but in a tasting setting, when the cider is served at room temperature, it is explosive.

There is a subtle apple flavour mostly masked by semi-sweet sugar content. Now this is not a bad thing for those of you that like sweet beverages, in fact this might be considered a good thing. I however prefer the natural taste of the fruit which is lost to the sugar.

Crazy Eight Cider

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Crazy Eight Cider

Listen: 

This fantastic sparkling cider is made with a blend of Ontario apples and Royal Raspberries. The Raspberries, last I checked, are from Andrews' Scenic Acres in Milton and the apples are from the Applewood Farm Winery. I really like this blend. It is reminiscent of Andy's Original Royal Raspberry Cider.

The raspberries give this cider an intense ruby colour and a lovely full raspberry aroma. I can also detect red candy apple and hints of cinnamon. This cider feels great in your mouth as it dances down your tongue. It is an off dry cider with just a touch of sweet jam.

There is a well balanced structure and alcohol content of 8.8%. Packaged in a dark brown, longneck 500 ml bottle it looks like it has been hand-painted, although I am sure it is just very good bottle printing.

The cider maker, Matthew Passafiume, is a master at his craft. His expertise and care have made this an outstanding product each year it is made.

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